White Sox catch breath before opener

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- One day before their Cactus League schedule began, the Chicago White Sox took an abbreviated work day on Thursday.

After a short morning meeting, the players took the field for an hour-long batting practice session and were free to use the rest of the day as they please.

Long days are now ahead for the month of March. It all will begin on the final day of February, actually, as the team will return to its usual workout schedule on Friday and then take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 1:05 p.m. local start at Camelback Ranch.

From Friday until the team breaks camp on March 27 the White Sox will play a game every day in the desert except for the one off day on March 20. The White Sox have split-squad games on March 6 and March 22.

The lineup scheduled to be used by manager Robin Ventura against the Dodgers has a decidedly Opening Day flavor to it.

Adam Eaton will lead off and play center field, followed by shortstop Alexei Ramirez and right fielder Avisail Garcia. Jose Abreu will bat cleanup and play first base, while Dayan Viciedo will bat fifth in left field followed by Paul Konerko in the designated hitter spot. The bottom of the order will consist of Matt Davidson at third base, Gordon Beckham at second and Tyler Flowers behind the plate.

Chris Sale, who is expected to be the Opening Day starter at home on March 31 against the Minnesota Twins, will also be on the mound in Friday’s Cactus League opener. He isn't expected to pitch more than two innings.